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Jersey Water Works Releases 2016 Workplan

April 27th, 2016 by Chris Sturm

Focus areas include improving water system efficiency and engaging community members in water-infrastructure investment decisions

Committee meeting

Jersey Water Works committee members finalizing the 2016 work plan.

Jersey Water Works, the cross-sector collaborative formed to address the problems of New Jersey’s aging urban water infrastructure, today released its workplan for 2016. Read the rest of this entry »

Forum Roundup: The Triple-Bottom-Line Beauty of Green Infrastructure

April 19th, 2016 by Kandyce Perry

panelists. From left to right: Russ Dudley, Tetra Tech; Michele Adams, Meliora Design; Eric Rothman, HR&A Advisors, Inc.; Christopher Franklin, Brandywine Realty Trust; Matthew Testa, Bijou Propoerties

L to R, panelists Russ Dudley, Tetra Tech; Michele Adams, Meliora Design; Eric Rothman, HR&A Advisors, Inc.; Christopher Franklin, Brandywine Realty Trust; Matthew Testa, Bijou Propoerties

With a room filled to capacity, the Triple-Bottom-Line Beauty of Green Infrastructure panel session at Redevelopment Forum 2016 provided a refreshing response to the looming realities of climate change heard in the opening plenary session. Why? Because green infrastructure can help mitigate some impacts of climate change.

The goal of green infrastructure (GI) is to manage stormwater by enabling it to infiltrate into the ground where it falls or by capturing it for later reuse. This approach improves environmental quality by reducing or preventing runoff, sequestering carbon dioxide, reducing heat island effect, filtering contaminants to improve water quality, and recharging groundwater. Read the rest of this entry »

Demand for Transit Neighborhoods on the Rise

April 18th, 2016 by Tim Evans

Housing near a Hudson-Bergen Light Rail station in Jersey City. Photo courtesy of NJTPA.

Housing near a Hudson-Bergen Light Rail station in Jersey City. Photo courtesy of NJTPA.

Since 2008, much attention has been devoted in the national and academic presses to the way that the Great Recession and its attendant housing market crash, $4-per-gallon gas, and the emerging preference of the Millennial generation for “walkable urbanism” have converged to produce a new tide of interest in aging transit neighborhoods, giving many of them a second wind. But is this phenomenon actually borne out by data? Or is it just anecdotal evidence, wishful thinking on the part of smart-growth advocates? Read the rest of this entry »

Case Study: How Bioswales Are Helping To Clean Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal

April 11th, 2016 by Kevin Burkman

Photo credit: Kevin Burkman

Photo credit: Kevin Burkman

Bioswales have become a key tool in urban green infrastructure. These features, comprising soil, rocks, and living vegetation, are designed to absorb and slow down storm runoff from streets, parking lots, and other impervious surfaces. Generally located at street gutter and drain sites, bioswales also capture silt and pollution from the runoff stream. More importantly, in cities with older sewer infrastructure, bioswales help to reduce the amount of runoff water entering the sewage-treatment system, lowering the risk of raw-sewage overflows into local, fragile waterways. One community that has embraced bioswales in its street infrastructure is the post-industrial neighborhood of Gowanus in Brooklyn, N.Y. Read the rest of this entry »

Forum Feature: We Need To Do Transportation Planning for People, Not Cars. And We Need To Do It Fast.

April 6th, 2016 by Elaine Clisham

Gabe Klein at the 2016 Redevelopment Forum.

Gabe Klein at the 2016 Redevelopment Forum.

In his keynote remarks at New Jersey Future’s annual Redevelopment Forum, urban innovator and transportation expert Gabe Klein, author of Start-Up City: Inspiring Private and Public Entrepreneurship, Getting Projects Done, and Having Fun, urged planners and policymakers to rethink completely how they approach the relationship between transportation and place. Despite what we may have been told, he said, the goal of transportation should be not moving people safely, but rather bringing people to places where they want to stay. And too often, he said, places that have been designed around cars are merely places we want to drive through. Read the rest of this entry »

Forum Roundup: Gateway Tunnel Will Provide Much-Needed New Transit Capacity

April 4th, 2016 by Tim Evans

Panelists Tom Wright, Adrian Mapp and Thomas Kean Jr. at the Redevelopment Forum's session on the Gateway Tunnel

Panelists Tom Wright, Adrian Mapp and Thomas Kean Jr. at the Redevelopment Forum’s session on the Gateway Tunnel

New Jersey’s transit network is one of the keys to the state’s success, facilitating access to New York City’s thriving job market for tens of thousands of New Jersey residents, noted Tom Wright, the President of the Regional Plan Association, at New Jersey Future’s March 11 Redevelopment Forum. But our rail transit system is bumping up against capacity constraints. If we want to continue increasing the number of people who get to work by transit – and to continue creating more transit-oriented neighborhoods for those commuters to live in – we need to expand the number of trains the system can accommodate. Read the rest of this entry »

The Greatest Danger Facing New Jersey’s Water Infrastructure: The Unknown

April 4th, 2016 by Elaine Clisham

Dan Kennedy (left), an assistant commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Protection and Dennis Doll, chairman, president, and CEO of Middlesex Water Company, at NJ Spotlight’s recent roundtable, New Jersey’s Hidden Water Crisis. Lead in water in public schools. Potentially harmful contaminants found in drinking water, without suitable standards to act on. An aging infrastructure… Read the rest of this entry »

Forum Roundup: The Mega-Ships Are Here! Are We Ready?

March 28th, 2016 by New Jersey Future staff

This summary was written by Redevelopment Forum volunteer Michael Russell.


Megaship“The title of this panel is ‘The Mega-Ships Are Coming,’ but the reality is that the mega-ships are here, and they’re getting bigger,” began Beth Rooney, assistant director of the Port Performance Initiative at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, during New Jersey Future’s 2016 Redevelopment Forum panel on the effects these ships will have on both the port and its surrounding area.

Indeed, large cargo ships used to carry between 4,000 and 5,000 shipping containers, she said. Now, large cargo ships carry around 18,000 containers. And that is good for New Jersey, which is well positioned to benefit from more cargo than ever coming through its port. Read the rest of this entry »

Public-Interest Organizations Urge Commitment of Disaster Competition Award Funds to Regional Planning

March 24th, 2016 by Elaine Clisham

Letter, signed by 12 organizations, emphasizes urgent need for
leadership and regional focus in resiliency planning.

Sandy aerial view slideshowNew Jersey Future, along with a coalition of public interest organizations, today sent a letter to Gov. Christie urging him to take full advantage of the $15 million dollars awarded to the state for regional resiliency planning from the National Disaster Resilience Competition. Read the rest of this entry »

Forum Roundup: Finding the Opportunities in Affordable Housing

March 23rd, 2016 by Elaine Clisham

An example of adaptive reuse for affordable housing: Dina's Dwellings, built into a historic church building in New Brunswick, will serve survivors of domestic violence. Bergen County's United Way is building the project.

An example of adaptive reuse for affordable housing: Dina’s Dwellings, built into a historic church building in New Brunswick, will serve survivors of domestic violence. Bergen County’s United Way is building the project.

Speakers at the Redevelopment Forum’s session on how municipalities can begin to address their affordable-housing obligations even in the absence of clear guidance from the state all emphasized one key point: There is great opportunity in affordable housing.

Moderator Tom Toronto (presentation) from Bergen County’s United Way (full list of affordable-housing projects in New Jersey), which also runs New Jersey’s 211 Helpline, noted that for the past eight years, the most frequent type of call that comes into the helpline is about financial distress, usually prompted at least in part by high housing costs. The need for affordable and supportive housing is critical, he said. Read the rest of this entry »

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